New to Directv. Rain Fade ?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by redbox223, Aug 31, 2008.

  1. jimmie57

    jimmie57 Hall Of Fame

    Jun 26, 2010
    Texas City, TX
    Post your readings on all of the following satellites:
    99c, 103ca, 103cb

    I live 35 miles south of Houston, TX and 10 miles north of Galveston. We get lots of rain. We do get rain fade but it is not serious.
  2. ladannen

    ladannen Legend

    Oct 26, 2007
    I don't have big rain fade problems, but maybe I'm just lucky.

    I would think that if this was a widespread problem, the only thread related to Directv rain fade on this site would be updated more frequently that once every six years.
  3. peds48

    peds48 Genius.

    Jan 10, 2008
    Nope, not that serious. Call DirecTV® to have them take a look at your installation because apparently some is wrong
  4. SomeRandomIdiot

    SomeRandomIdiot Godfather

    Jan 6, 2009
    It depends on where on lives. If one lives in the SouthEast, especially Florida where there are plenty of pop-up thunderstorms in the Summer, it is much more of a problem then in other parts of the Country.

    Also, just because someone does not see the signal fade, does not mean it does not happen to them.

    Bottom line, most MVPDs report 99.9% uptime. With 8,760 hours in a year, that comes up to around 8.76 hours a year of downtime.

    With cable that often happens during a continuous period. With DirecTV, it happens 5 and 10 minutes at a time with rain fade - which can get very annoying.
  5. BubblePuppy

    BubblePuppy Good night dear Smoke... love you & "got your butt

    Nov 3, 2006
    Here in Missouri Spring and Summer is T-Storm and Tornado season. During those weather conditions satellite tv is a fail. A NOAA weather radio and a battery operated radio is a must have. Don't count on DirecTV for emergency weather info.
  6. JohnBoy

    JohnBoy New Member

    Sep 8, 2011
    Here in Orlando during rain season in July and August i get rain fade often during evening showers...771 error code has become a part of the family.

    It can get frustrating when i try watching my evening MLB ball games and that stupid code pop ups and I lose signal for about half hour.

    So I have to switch to my roku and watch a stream feed of my game on mlbtv.
  7. Diana C

    Diana C Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    Mar 30, 2007
    New Jersey
    Rain fade happens...whether or not it is a "serious" problem depends on the individual and their concept of "serious." For us, in the NE corner of Bergen County NJ rain fade was a problem in the summer, mostly in the evenings, when large thunderstorms rolled across New Jersey. Our signal readings were in the 90s for all the HD (Ka) transponders and between 95 and 100 for all the SD (Ku) transponders. We would lose signal about once every week or two, usually during early prime time, and the outages would be intermittent over a period of 15 to 30 minutes (enough to make any recording being done at the time unwatchable). It was almost never actually raining here when we had the outages - they happened when the storm was to the SW of us. Most of the time, once it actually started to rain here the signal would be back.

    There is also a potential problem with ice fade (when ice accumulates on the dish or, worse, the LNB cover. Heavy wet snow on the dish can also be an issue, but in our experience that was very rare (only twice that I can recall over a period of 15 years).
  8. jcwest

    jcwest Legend

    May 3, 2006
    What I do during a passing Thunder Boomer is check the SD channel. Quite often the SD channel will still get through unless the storm is very intense.

    J C
  9. Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

    Dec 2, 2010
    Wow. You dredged up a six year old thread to warn the OP about your apparent situation??
  10. WilsonFlyer

    WilsonFlyer Godfather

    Jan 16, 2006
    He speaks the truth. I'm at 97-100% EVERYWHERE. Had DTV sinve 96. Just lost signal 35 minutes out of the last 60 with storms (eastern NC). It is a very regional problem but places like here at central FL (thunderstorm alleys of the US), it's a very real problem.

    The only reason I even saw this thread at all was because I was searching for if a bigger dish was available and would it help JUST NOW.
  11. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Dec 9, 2006
    Well at least there is "merit" to it.
    The SAT beams are focused to be the strongest for this area, but mother nature is stronger.
    The 1.2 meter dish could help "a bit", but they're expensive, and NOT GOOD for when you don't have rainfade.

    A LNB with more dynamic range would be better, but no one yet makes one.
  12. dennisj00

    dennisj00 Hall Of Fame

    Sep 27, 2007
    Lake Norman, NC
    Rain fade seems to have increased in the last 2 or 3 years . . . nothing scientific but I don't remember the types of thunderstorms that we're having now. Some are small, localized that dump an inch or two and an outage of 10-15 minutes and some are bigger that might not rain here but dump a few inches to the west of us. And never rain here.
    1 person likes this.
  13. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Dec 9, 2006
    The change from Calif to GA has taught me what a PITA it can be.
  14. HoTat2

    HoTat2 Hall Of Fame

    Nov 16, 2005
    And I suppose while dealing with the uplink side, the same principle would apply to the downlink side to vividly illustrate the utter futility of trying to combat rain fade by going to a larger receive dish like the 1.2 m ODU as slice jokingly points out in the very next post at the link.

    Notice that even with monster size 9-14 m Ka band satellite dishes DIRECTV uses at their various uplink sites. They still need nearby diversity facilities (the sites denoted by "D" in their labels) with equal size dishes to maintain a high reliability against RF signal outages. :)
  15. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Dec 9, 2006
    While you're on the right track, looking at your list in the link, I'm not sure, or don't see, what I'd expect to for weather related problems.
    Colorado verses California, sure, but LA verses LA basin [and similar spacing], not so much.
  16. llweigand

    llweigand New Member

    Dec 18, 2013
    Here in Michigan, I normally lose signal about 2-3 hour a year total. 5 - 10 minutes at a time during heavy downpours. My satellite is on the ground so any snow buildup is easily removed. I rarely if ever lose signal. I would lose the Comcast signal for more downtime. When the cable goes out, it usually was for hours. We the satellite goes out, it normally is for minutes.

    Last week was the exception. We had a torrential downpour for hours and the signal was gone for 2+ hours. I watched my dvr recordings during the downtime so it wasn't that big of an ordeal.
  17. hasan

    hasan Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2006
    Ogden, IA
    In Iowa, where we get frequent large thunderstorms, we get rain fade a few times per summer. I would estimate 3 to 5 times per summer, and that is mostly on the high def channels (due to the frequency that they use being more susceptible to rain fade). This happens when the heavy rain bearing t-boomers are south of us, i.e., in between the dish and the satellite in question. We can have torrential rain right at the dish and have no rain fade. However, if there is a big storm south of the dish (several miles), so the rain is very dense and high in the clouds, that rain absorbs the signal from the satellites. If you were to draw a line from the dish up to the Clark belt (say Azimuth 185 degrees and Elevation 38 degrees, and examine that line several miles south of the dish, it is the big thunderstorm that intersects that line at that point (several miles south) that is causing the problem, not rain local to the dish. This is all due to the water density at that location at that time. It passes in a few minutes.

    So: if you live in an area where you get strong thunderstorms frequently, you WILL experience some short periods (seconds to minutes) of rain fade. It is unavoidable.

    If you live in an area with heavy wet snow, and it accumulates on the dish surface, you will also lose signal until you clean it off. This can also happen with ice accumulation on the feed horns themselves.

    Once you understand what is going on and realize all loss of signal is quite short term in infrequent, it probably will be very little annoyance, considering how well things work 99.999 % of the time.

  18. wxguy

    wxguy AllStar

    Feb 17, 2008
    Best way to avoid rainfade is to relocate to an area under severe drought conditions, But then that can change, so stay mobile.

    I get rainfade on occasion with buildups to the south of us. Usually switching to an SD feed of the channel will get the programming unless the buildup extends farther to the southwest. If I lose both, I can switch to the offair antenna in case of severe weather problems but by then I'm usually watching radar on the computer so they don't tell me anything on local tv I don't already know about. Recordings under rainfade just go away, but with reruns so common, there is hardly anything that I can't see if I really have a need.

    I'm having problems coordinating my rainfades with the times politicians are taking over the airwaves and pontificating about something. Still working on a solution to that.
  19. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

    Feb 14, 2013
    I was curious about rain fade issues last year and did some googling and found an academic paper which discussed it, and their calculations indicated that you can't make a dish big enough to completely eliminate rain fade in either Ku or Ka band. At some point (I think it was around 15 meters for Ka band) making the dish bigger actually hurts during rain because it gains more noise than signal as size increases beyond that level.

    They had graphs showing a 30 to 40 db drop during the heaviest rain, so going to the 1.2 meter AK/HI dish that's maybe adding 5 db if you're lucky doesn't buy you much at all. Even a C band sized dish wouldn't help all that much. That's probably big enough that the reduction in "rain fade minutes per year" is measurable, but it likely wouldn't even cut that figure in half.
  20. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2004
    After more than 17 years as a DirecTV customer....I've learned that the term "rainfade" is a misnomer.In fact...I've experienced hundreds of severe rainfalls without losing any signal. It helps to have the Dish peaked with a solid signal of course.

    What does happen on certain occasions is when a severe thunderstorm comes through with plenty of lightening...then the signal goes out for perhaps a few minutes. Not every storm results in an outage of signal either. So I call it "stormfade" to be more accurate.

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